Doncaster South Yorks UK Shuttle Crew in Town Nov 15th 2007

Doncaster South Yorks UK Shuttle Crew in Town Nov 15th 2007

The crew members of mission STS-118, Endeavour, pose for their official portrait. Pictured from the left are mission specialists Richard A. (Rick) Mastracchio, Barbara R. Morgan, Pilot Charles O. Hobaugh, Commander Scott J. Kelly and mission specialists Tracy E. Caldwell, Canadian Space Agency's Dafydd R. (Dave) Williams, and Alvin Drew Jr. Credit: NASA.

IT might be a small part of a national tour but it's a giant coup for Doncaster...

The last crew of space shuttle Endeavour will be swapping a view of earth for a glance at St George's Church and The Hub when they land in Doncaster next month.

Seven astronauts who were part of the iconic craft's recent 5.3 million mile mission are stopping off in the borough to share their experiences with local schoolkids.

Among them is the first teacher in space - Barbara Morgan, who taught at an elementary school in Idaho in the US before being selected to train as an astronaut.

The visit, on November 15, has been arranged by Doncaster Council, STEMNET (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network), Doncaster College, Business Link South Yorkshire and SEMTA (Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies) who have funded the event to help raise aspirations among youngsters throughout Yorkshire.

Selected pupils from all secondary schools will converge on four schools - Rossington All Saints Sports College, Hall Cross School, Ridgewood School and Balby Carr Community Sports College. Each will be visited by at least one astronaut and pupils will take part in a range of space-related activities covering STEM subjects.

Later the crew will visit Doncaster College's Hub campus where they will take part in more activities involving Year 11 pupils, as well as special schools pupils and Doncaster College students.

An evening event for the business community is also planned at The Hub aimed at encouraging employers to collaborate with schools and the college.

Endeavour landed safely at NASA's Florida base in August after a 13-day mission despite concerns over a gouge in its protective tiles.

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